Posted: May 28, 2010, 6 p.m. EDT
© Isabelle Francais/BowTie Inc.
Under the proposed importation list, sugar gliders (shown) and short-tailed oppossums are classified as Group II, while pet rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, hedgehogs and others are classified as Group I. Group I would not require a permit.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has proposed a rule change that would allow the department’s director to create a species importation list. The list, according to the state, would help the public know which non-domestic animals may be imported into the state.
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for June 3, 2010. The department is accepting public comments until June 4, 2010.
Under the proposal, it would be unlawful to import any live non-domesticated animal into New Mexico without first obtaining an appropriate permit. If approved, animal species would be categorized into a minimum of four importation groups. Groups are as follows:
• Species importation list group I are designated domesticated animals and do not require an importation permit;
• Species importation list group II may be for live non-domesticated animals that are not known to be either invasive or dangerous and do not present a known risk to the health, safety or well-being of the public, domestic livestock or to native wildlife and their habitats;
• Species importation list group III may be for live non-domesticated animals that present minimal or manageable concerns that will require specific provisions that must be met prior to issuing an importation permit to address health, safety or well-being of the public, domestic livestock or to native wildlife and their habitats;
• Species importation list group IV may be for live non-domesticated animals that are considered dangerous, invasive, undesirable, state or federal listed threatened, endangered, C.I.T.E.S. appendix 1 or a furbearer. The importation of these species are prohibited for the general public but may be allowed for, scientific study, department approved restoration and recovery plans, zoological display, temporary events/entertainment, use as service animal or by a qualified expert.
Any species of live non-domesticated animal not currently on the species importation list will be designated group IV until such time as another determination is made by the director.
Click here to view a draft of the list.
Any applicant requesting an importation permit for non-domesticated animals must submit the following information with the application:
• A containment or confinement plan indicating where and how the species will be maintained;
• A current and valid certificate from an accredited veterinarian certifying that each animal or rearing facility of origin has been inspected and is in good general health, disease-free or that each animal or rearing facility of origin tests disease-free for any specific disease(s) following the testing requirements and procedures as identified by the department during the application process, except;
• Proof from the county and city into which the animal will be imported and held that possession of the animal is allowed;
• Proof that all necessary federal permits have been obtained;
• Proof that the requested species does not possess or have the immediate potential to carry infectious or contagious diseases and;
• Confirmation by the applicant or person in authority representing the applicant agreeing to any conditions and provisions listed on the respective permit.
Additional conditions are provided for the importation of a “dangerous animal.” Separate provisions are listed for certain fish and fish eggs.
The state has proposed the following fees for the importation of non-domesticated animals:
• Importation of 1 to 5 animals: $25.00
• Importation of 6 to 99 animals: $75.00
• Importation of greater than 100 animals: $300.00.
The department of game and fish is scheduled to present the proposed rule at a commission meeting on June 3 in Gallop, N.M.
The deadline to comment on the proposed rule is June 4, 2010. Written comments may be sent to Letitia Mee at NMDGF – Law Enforcement Division, Special Use Permits Program, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504, or via e-mail at Letitia.Mee@state.nm.us. Mee can also be reached at (505) 476-8064.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) has released a PetAlert in which the organization calls on every member of the New Mexico pet industry to read the proposal and review the fee structure. In its alert, PIJAC claims the proposal suffers from a number of issues and urges the department to adopt any revised rule as an interterm rule and to hold meetings with impacted stakeholders to further evaluate mechanisms to facilitate an “efficient and cost effective” importation process.
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